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A devastating earthquake will hit Kentucky tomorrow, followed a few
days later by a terrorist attack using weapons of mass destruction; at
least, that’s the mock scenario for a joint Marine and civil agency
exercise that starts today.
According to documents obtained by WorldNetDaily, an experimental
exercise to help the U.S. Marines learn how to work with civil agencies
during a domestic emergency is now under way.
Gunslinger 2000 is referred to as a “civil support experiment” in
Marine documents, the planning for which has taken over a year. Marine
public affairs officers contacted by WorldNetDaily had not prepared a
news release for the media. Officials planning the event did not expect
public attention, according to a Marine public affairs spokeswoman.
“The principal objectives of this exercise are to explore and define
potential roles of the Marine Corps Reserve within the civil support
mission, and to educate commanders and their staffs about the nuances of
civil support,” said Col. Karim Shihata, assistant chief of staff for
the 4th Marine Division.
U.S. Marine Corps. documents obtained by WorldNetDaily describe
Gunslinger 2000 as an “experiment,” intended to evaluate how the Marine
Reserve and National Guard can work together with local and national
civil agencies during an emergency.
“The experiment will explore roles and missions for the Marine Corps
in the event of a Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD) incident within the
continental United States. Following the completion of the CREST
exercise, the exercise staff and subject matter experts will conduct
operational planning in a facilitated discussion by National Interagency
Civil-Military Institute (NICI) that will outline and define potential
civil support roles and capabilities for the Marine Corps in support of
Consequence Management (CM),” stated Shihata in an internal memorandum
sent to participants.
The experiment begins today and will continue at least to the end of
the month, but one document provided to WorldNetDaily suggests it may
continue until July 15.
“This experiment is an opportunity to provide an exploration of the
Marine Corps’ role and missions within the civil disaster management and
weapons of mass destruction arena,” explained Shihata in the memorandum.
“Through this experiment, we must clearly and specifically describe the
general military roles and functions for the Marine Corps within
Military Support to Civil Authorities (MSCA). This exploration should
also provide an identifiable exit criteria to facilitate our extrication
from operations in support of Consequence Management. The conduct of
this experiment must demonstrate SMCR-provided expeditionary
capabilities with emphasis on voice and data communications.”
The exercise will take place at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and in the
Louisville and Memphis, Tennessee, areas. Some documents indicate that
eight states will be involved, but locations for exercise events were
Planning documents confirm that many local and national agencies will
join with the Marines during at least part of the exercise from June 19
“Active and reserve component military, civilian agency emergency
managers from the federal, state and local levels, law enforcement
officials and other first responders will be in attendance,” said
Shihata in his memorandum.
- Federal Emergency Management Agency
- Federal Bureau of Investigations
- Joint Task Force-Civil Support
- Fourth Marine Division
- Kentucky Plans, Operations and Military Support Office
- Kentucky State Emergency Operations Center Director
- State Emergency Management Office
- Department of Health
- Department of Transportation
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Kentucky State Police
- Conservation/Natural Resources
- Kentucky Army/Air National Guard
- Kentucky State Public Works/Utilities
- Kentucky State Social Services
The computer-assisted exercise is designed to help all the
agencies involved learn how to communicate with each other in the event
of a real emergency. The computer program will simulate a major
earthquake, followed by a biological or chemical terrorist attack in the
same area a few days later. A simulated national emergency covering
eight states will be declared by authority of “Presidential Directive
39,” according to Marine documents, and civil agencies will ask for
military assistance because they will be unable to handle the situation.
The computer simulation was designed by Cubic Applications, Inc., as
part of a $47 million contract to provide services to the Marine
Air-Ground Task Force. CAI is a subsidiary of Cubic Corporation of San
Diego. The company provides operational and technical support to the
Joint Chiefs of Staff, and to all branches of the military.
“This award demonstrates CAI’s position as an industry leader in
providing training support to the warfighting forces of our Nation,”
said Jack A. Walker, CAI president and chief executive officer in a news
release. “CAI is extremely proud of its long-standing support
relationship with the United States Armed Forces, and we believe our
team can make a significant contribution to the Marine Corps of the 21st
Shihata explained that Gunslinger 2000 does not represent a new role
for the Marine Reserve, but that it is an added ability as part of the
“force in readiness.” He said it is not an effort to take away the
authority of the civil agencies.
Marine documents reveal plans for future exercises after evaluating
the results of Gunslinger 2000.
A Power Point presentation used by the Marines in preparation for the
event indicates that the Marines will “provide law enforcement support.”
“There is an appropriate role for the armed forces to play in these
circumstances. The intent is not to fulfill law-enforcement roles, but
to augment them. This is a new function that grows out of traditional
Marine missions. We are now exploring and experimenting our role with
the emerging mission,” said Shihata.
The National Commission on Terrorism has concluded in a recent report
that current efforts to detect, prevent and prepare for such terrorist
attacks are inadequate. The report offers plans to deal with terrorist
threats, and acknowledges that it will provoke controversy by those
concerned with threats to freedoms.
Meeting the threat of tomorrow’s terrorism, in its view, will require
a bare-knuckle approach that includes some measures bound to provoke
“These include dropping human rights concerns in recruiting terrorist
informants, making it easier to initiate FBI investigations, paying for
legal help if agents overstep their bounds, monitoring foreign students
studying in the United States, frequently updating the list of Foreign
Terrorist Organizations, hanging tough on Iran and Syria while adding
Afghanistan to the list of state sponsors of terrorism, designating
Pakistan and NATO-ally Greece as states ‘not fully cooperating’ with the
United States, expanding federal authority, and considering designating
the Defense Department as the lead federal agency for responding to
catastrophic terrorist incidents in the United States,” said Brian
Michael Jenkins, a senior adviser to the president of RAND Corp. who
served as an adviser to the National Commission on Terrorism. He wrote
an article about terrorism published by UPI.
Major terrorist threats on the U.S. would also have a huge
psychological impact. Jenkins said a chemical or bioterrorism attack
could cause national hysteria.
“Liberal democracies have been shaken by levels of violence far below
this. Politicians would pound the podium demanding the most draconian
measures while an alarmed public screamed for even more. In such
circumstances, the commission’s recommendations would seem mild,”